It should go without saying, but special teams are what can make or break your team. Having the ability to capitalize on a power play opportunity and having the security of knowing you can kill a penalty off is vital to your success in the NHL, and in some cases, can be the difference between whether you make the playoffs or not.
Luckily for Carolina, they have been good in both departments. On the power play, they’re currently ranked 7th in the league, converting on 23.8% of their chances. On the penalty kill, they’re currently ranked 12th in the league, killing off 83.3% of the penalties they have taken so far.
During this three-game winning streak, Carolina has looked pretty good. On the power play, they have converted on three out of eight chances. When it comes to the penalty kill, they have been perfect, not giving up a single power play goal in that stretch (9/9). To make things even better, they have a shorthanded goal as well.
Chicago is a different story. They have struggled in both departments so far this season. On the power play, they are currently ranked 24th in the league, converting on only 14.5% of their chances. On the penalty kill, they’re currently ranked 19th in the league, killing off 80.0% of the penalties they have taken so far.
In their last three games, Chicago’s power play has converted on just one chance out of seven opportunities. On the penalty kill, the numbers look better. They killed off six out of seven penalties they faced in that stretch.
So clearly, both of these numbers work in Carolina’s favor overall. They will have to jump on the opportunities that present themselves and continue their early season success when it comes to special teams. If they can manage to do that, winning this game should be all but a certainty.